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Lesson 3: Exploring Four Empires of Mesopotamia

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Kevin Hunt

on 23 October 2014

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Transcript of Lesson 3: Exploring Four Empires of Mesopotamia

The Rise of Four Empires
2300 BC - Akkadians conquered Sumer and made the Sumerian city-states a part of their Empire
- large territory with several groups of people ruled by a singer powerful leader
Between 2300-539 BC four Mesopotamian Empires rose:

1. Akkadian Empire
2. Babylonian Empire
3. Assyrian Empire
4. Beo-Babylonian Empire
Life Under Akkadian Rule
Sargon ruled for 56 years
city of Agade became the empire's capital (a city that is the center of gov't)
Agade became a cultural center with many palaces and temples -most rich and powerful city in the world at the time
Babylonian Empire
After the fall of the Akkadians, Sumer was again a collection of city-states until the Babylonians took over.
Life in the Babylonian Empire
Babylonia thrived under Hammurabi

-he united the people
-he made the Babylonian god Marduk head of all gods
-he built roads and created a postal service
agriculture flourished
city of Babylon became a trading center
trade helped the empire to become rich
the arts flourished
Slaves were given some rights - they could even buy their own freedom with their wages
Women could own property and keep money of their own (Their husbands were still chosen though)
Assyrian Empire
rose to power in 900 BC
Assyrians were feared for the military might and cruelty
perfected the use of horses and iron weapons and war strategies
were good at siege warfare
A siege is where a city is attacked again and again until it falls.
first to use battering rams and moveable towers to get over city walls
they made entire populations leave conquered areas
to create fear enemy leaders were beheaded and their heads were put on pikes on top of the city walls
Akkadian Empire
2300 BC-Akkadians came from northern Mesopotamia and conquered the Sumerian city-states
Led by a great king named Sargon
Sargon became the first ruler of the Akkadian Empire
Lesson 3: Exploring Four Empires of Mesopotamia
strong king and skilled general
he assembled a large army
taught his soldiers to fight in a tight formation
"Solders carrying shields stood at the front of the formation. Behind them stood soldiers carrying spears. The spear carriers extended their weapons between the shields."
used his military skills to win territory for the empire
after defeating the King of Uruk he controlled all of Mesopotamia
Sargon used smart political strategies to keep his empire under control
city-state walls were destroyed
-made it harder for people to rebel
made sure city-state governors were loyal to him
-if not they were replaced by his own men
first king to demand that his sons rule after his death
Sumerian culture lived on in Akkadia
Irrigation systems and cuneiform were still used
Gods remained the same but were given different names
kings continued to rule in the name of the gods
Akkadian Achievements
Akkadian language replaced Sumerian
developed three-dimensional sculptures called reliefs
craftspeople carved special message stones called steles
End of an Empire
Sargon hoped the empire would last for a thousand years
later kings found it difficult to rule such a large empire
after 200 years the empire fell to new invaders from the north
Hammurabi was the king of Babylon
after conquering the rest of Mesopotamia he made Babylon his capital
the region became known as Babylonia
Hammurabi's Code
Hammurabi is best known for his code of laws
written between 1792 to 1750 BC
code of laws was used to unify the empire and preserve order
laws were based on his authority and the law of the gods
"Hammurabi claimed that the gods had told him to create laws that applied to everyone in the empire."
because the laws were based on the god's will - they could never be changed
code of laws was written on a stele and placed around all city-states for people to see
code of laws were detailed and covered different types of situations and also included punishments for those situations
first code of laws to apply to everyone!
Life Under the Assyrians
ruled by powerful kings
great palaces were built for them
they were guarded by winged human-headed bulls or lions
they were the first to build aqueducts (a pipe or channel that brings water)
craftspeople were known for their two-dimensional sculptures called base-reliefs
empire lasted 300 years
it stretched from Egypt to the Persian Gulf
612 BC the Assyrian Empire collapsed after an invasion by a group of Babylonians
Neo-Babylonian Empire
after the Assyrians the Babylonians regained power
called their new empire - Neo-Babylonian Empire ("neo" means new)
most famous king was King Nebuchadrezzar II
-ruthless military leader who ruled from 605-562 BC

conquered Canaan (Israel) took the Hebrews captive and took them to Babylonia
built inner and outer city walls around Babylon
city walls were so thick that two chariots could pass each other on top of them
towers were added to the walls for extra protection
moat was dug around the entire city and filled with water
Life in New Babylonia
605-562 BC Babylon's ziggurat was rebuilt

-it was several stories high
-was called "House of the Platform Between Heaven and Earth"
Nebuchadrezzar decorated his palace with hanging gardens - these became the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon (One of the Wonders of the Ancient World)
-created the first sundial
-created the 7-day week
empire lasted only 75 years
539 BC the empire ended with the invasion of the Persians
Full transcript